Beginning in spring 2019, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be offering three additional accessibility enhancements as the personal needs and preferences (PNP) options available in the STAAR Online Testing Platform (SOTP).
First, an online basic calculator will be available to students who are eligible for the designated support of Calculation Aid and take STAAR online at grades 3–7 mathematics or grade 5 science, including STAAR Spanish online at grades 3–5 mathematics or grade 5 science.
Students who are eligible for a braille administration of STAAR will be able to use a screen reader software application that will enable the use of refreshable braille display devices. This PNP option will be available for online administrations of STAAR grades 3–8 reading (English only), grades 4 (English only) and 7 writing, grade 8 social studies, English I, English II, and U.S. History. For more information about setup and administration for this PNP option, contact the Texas Assessment Support Center at 855-333-7770.
Additionally, students eligible for an oral/signed administration will have access to American Sign Language (ASL) videos through the SOTP. This PNP option will be available for online administrations of STAAR grades 3–8 reading and mathematics, grades 4 and 7 writing, grades 5 and 8 science, grade 8 social studies, English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History (only English versions of these assessments). Students with access to this PNP will click on an ASL icon at the top of the screen and a video of a person signing applicable test content will appear. Students will have the ability to play the video as many times as necessary and will also be able to pause, fast forward, and rewind the video. Additional information will be available in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Oral Administration documents on the Accommodations Resources webpage at https://tea.texas.gov/accommodations/.
These new PNP functionalities will be available in the practice tests. Districts will indicate in the student data file upload or manually in the STAAR Assessment Management System which students will have PNP codes, including basic calculator, refreshable braille, or ASL videos, for STAAR online tests. Refer to the 2018–2019 Data File Format for Student Registration, available at https://texasassessment.com/administrators/technology/.